On the 40th Anniversary of U.S. President Richard Nixon's Visit to
China and the Issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué
This year marks the 40th anniversary of U.S. President Richard Nixon's visit to China and the issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué. Forty years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, President Nixon and Dr. Henry Kissinger—the older generation of Chinese and U.S. leaders, bearing in mind the fundamental interest of people of both countries and with extraordinary strategic insight and political courage, made the strategic decision of re-opening the door of exchanges between the two countries. China and the United States shook hands across the vast Pacific and opened a new chapter in the bilateral relations, which exerted positive and far-reaching influence upon the development of both countries and changed the entire world as well.
The Shanghai Communiqué is significant because it establishes the basic guiding principles of the bilateral relations, including one-China, mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, peaceful coexistence and noninterference in each other's internal affairs. Those principles have been further confirmed in the subsequent Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China and the August 17 Communiqué and laid the political foundation for the development of China-U.S. relations.
Over the past 40 years, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides and the important role of the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, including the Shanghai Communiqué, and the three bilateral joint statements, China-U.S. relations have advanced and the door of bilateral exchanges and cooperation has been opened wider despite of twists and turns on the journey foward.
In the 1970s, Comrade Deng Xiaoping, taking a broad and long-term perspective, pushed China and the United States to officially establish diplomatic ties on January 1, 1979 and paid a historic visit to the United States, which opened a new era of China-U.S. relations and created a favorable external environment for China's reform and opening up.
At the crucial historical juncture of the turn of the century, the third generation of Chinese collective leadership with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core sized up the situation, calmly dealt with the major changes in the international situation, held onto the forward direction of China-U.S. relations and brought a China-U.S. relationship with sustained development and vibrant vigor into the 21st century.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Comrade Hu Jintao as general secretary has responded to the call of the times, adhered to the road of peaceful development and the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening up and worked with U.S. leaders to advance the bilateral dialogue, exchanges and cooperation in all fields and promote the steady growth of the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relations. In January 2011, President Hu visited the United States and reached the important consensus with President Barack Obama on jointly building the China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit which pointed out the direction of bilateral relations in the new epoch.